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Sense on sharia

English law is flexible enough to incorporate a role for sharia as an informal mechanism for dispute resolution

By Thom Dyke   February 2008

Following Rowan Williams’s comments on sharia law, Sayeeda Warsi, the Conservatives’s shadow community cohesion minister, said “Williams seems to be suggesting that there should be two systems of law, running alongside each other, almost parallel, and for people to be offered the choice of opting into one or the other… that is unacceptable.”

In fact, Williams suggested nothing of the sort. This was not a call for sharia principles to be “incorporated” into British law by the same formal mechanism that the European convention on human rights became part of domestic law through the Human Rights Act in 1998. Neither…

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